This Week in Kickstarter - Call A Tree, Seriously

This Week in Kickstarter - Call A Tree, Seriously

Published: October 5, 2015 11:00 AM /


RePhone Plant

This Week in Kickstarter we've got laser powered razors, the return of the BattleTech series, and a card game by Hank Green.




Turn-based tactical 'Mech combat. From the creators of the Shadowrun series.

BattleTech is a single player, turn based tactical game set in the 3025 era. It features mech combat and PvP multiplayer (after having reached its funding goal).  Players command a squad of four Mechs on the battlefield, leading their team to victory.

The game is set in a universe of constant warfare and feudal politics. Great houses fight for dominance of "The Inner Sphere," a vast region of space containing several planets. Flawed heroes, fallen empires, and grey moral realities bring this Sci-Fi warfare world to life.


BattleTech's unwavering resolve for a tactical warfare game shows its commitment to the strengths of this long ignored genre. After the success of their Shadowrun series, its appeasing to see Harebrained Schemes bring this series around for another installment.




The Skarp Laser Razor


The first ever laser powered razor, for an irritation free, incredibly close shave.

The Skarp razor seems like an ordinary, if sleek designed razor, but what sets it apart is its small laser that cuts though hair for a close shave without damaging  or irritating skin. When you buy the Skarp laser razor, you can say goodbye to buying packs of disposable razors, while also helping keep the environment cleaner.


The list of benefits for this seemingly simple change are quite numerous:

  • No scratches
  • No razor burn
  • No infection
  • No itch
  • No accidental cutting
  • No irritation
  • Effortlessly smooth stroke
  • Close and smooth shave
  • No expensive cartridge replacements
  • Little to no water usage
  • No painful waxing or depilatory creams
  • Environmentally friendly

This is a really nifty looking tool, and the video does a great job explaining why this is more than just a bad ass way to cut hair. Having a laser than leaves the skin untouched while slicing the hair puts it head and shoulders above any other alternative. I've used every type of shaver, from disposable, to expensive brands, to a straight razor. I can say with confidence that promising your razor won't cause irritation, skin damage or infection easily makes it #1.

De Mambo

De Mambo

"What happens when you make a game for the price of a coffee a day."

De Mambo is a fast paced, single-screen action platformer, designed in mind with a little Super Smash Bros. and a little Breakout. The game was conceived out of a love for Super Smash Bros., and the team sought to deconstruct Sakurai's party brawler and then reconstruct it into something entirely its own, with a mantra to make the game minimal.

De Mambo uses the D pad/keys for movement and a single button for attacks. Holding the button down and releasing at different times will perform one of three different attacks. This systems trains the player to fight with timing and muscle memory rather than inputting combos.


De Mambo really knows how to sell their game to someone like me. While I wish there were at least some combos in the game, the simplistic, minimal nature of the title doesn't seem to call for it. Playing the game with timing skill and muscle memory over combo inputs is a welcome choice to me, and if even half as much humor and charm is placed in the game as we saw in the Kickstarter's trailer, this could be something special.

OpenROV Trident


An underwater drone for everyone.

Trident is a unique underwater device that takes the ease of use you see in commercial drones and applies that concept to underwater exploration. It can go fast or slow, bank around objects, or hold still to inspect something.

Users can control the device with a VR device such as Oculus rift or Google Cardboard. Attached is a buoyant tether that allows the device to receive information from the user. The standard length is 25m but can go as high as 100m. The Trident is designed to work for fishers, researchers, or recreational boaters—anyone with a passion for the water and is curious for what's under it.

I'd recommend the Trident to any boat owners out there, especially if you regularly take it out to the open ocean. The risk in Trident is that you really don't know how much the experience is worth until after you use it. While researchers aren't necessarily concerned with the "view," the buyer should consider their prospective underwater climate before buying. The other is that, unlike an air-drone where you can just use it anywhere, the buyer will be significantly limited comparatively. Another thing that concerns me is the cable, and how easy it could be to get it tangled with some underwater junk, and now you either give up your expensive drone or grab some scuba gear. With that negative rant out of the way, the ocean is freakin' awesome, and if I could get my hands on one of these I would take the first chance I had to bring this thing to the coast and try a bunch of different ports.

Wizard School

Wizard School

A cooperative card game, where you fight monsters, take tests, and hopefully graduate.

Wizard School is a card game set in a magical high school where players must carefully manage their abilities and resources to make sure they don't flunk out of the best magic academy in the world. This cooperative card game can be played by 2-5 players, each taking turns at passing tests and beating monsters. Players are graded cumulatively, if one fails, they all do.

Players may have the goal to graduate, but can’t let the monsters overrun the school. As the monsters pile up, players are forced to use magic, and may have nothing left to pass the Graduation Milestones. If a player reaches an F on their Graduation Card, game over! Wizard School was created by Hank Green and Eric Jones. It was built to make something that brings together the things they love most in cooperative games.

Wizard School certainly has charm, the beautiful illustrations by the talented Karen Hallion give the game a sort of fantasy feel. Hank Green's personality and passion for science will no doubt create adventures that are one part comedy and one part academic. The set up of the game involving graduating years to fight stronger enemies and pass harder tests suits the setting well. 

RePhone Kit


Create a phone yourself in minutes and hack a new way to communicate with things.

RePhone is an open source, modular phone kit. RePhone allows the user to create their own phone in minutes with slim modules, accessible software, and a customizable phone enclosure. Users can "hack" anything, and grant cellular conversation to things like pets, robots, bikes, hell call a tree if you want to.

The RePhone Kit includes a set of tools that allow anyone to rethink, remix, redesign and remake their phone. Users can even write their own logic for the device. The phone can be encased in the provided foldable case, or with really whatever you've got lying around the house. Even 3d print a case for it if you like.

I think we can say, with 100% certainty, this device was invented by Jimmy Neutron. Who else would think to invent a dog collar (or should I call it a "dog caller," eh? See what I did there?) that lets me call my dog to come home from ... whatever he was doing? Clearly this is mad science. Assuming I'm not a boy genius, it's an interesting prospect to make, say, my beanie or my book bag have smart phone functionality. This seems very marketable to a teen audience, with the trendy small form factor, and being able to customize and draw on it. I'm wondering how sturdy these paper cases are. I'm imagining a nightmare scenario of getting caught in a dangerous storm and you can't call 911 because you chose the RePhone and now your phone has been ruined by being in the rain for a couple of seconds. Really, I just don't see a reason to choose this device over competing smartphones.

Disclaimer: The author (Bryan Heraghty) does not back any Kickstarter projects he writes about, nor are any of these inclusions sponsoring TechRaptor. These projects are included solely because the author thinks they are interesting.

What are your thoughts on some of the Kickstarters we saw this week? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! If you have a game or technology Kickstarter you think deserves attention, you can either comment below, email TechRaptor, or tweet @techraptr or @greyhoodedbryan your suggestion!

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